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-------- Messaggio originale --------
Oggetto: COMMUNIA policy paper on digitization agreements
Data: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:16:45 +0000
Mittente: <Primavera De Filippi
COMMUNIA policy paper on digitization agreements
The aim of this policy paper
to make policy recommendations for cultural institutions to preserve the
Public Domain when using digitization services provided by private
entities. This becomes particularly relevant in the context of the 2013
Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive which adds Museums, Libraries
and Archives in the list of Public Sector Bodies (PSBs) that have to
make their information reusable.
The Public Domain ensures the free dissemination of knowledge and
provides everyone with the potential to access and create new works
based on previous works. Thus, all Public Domain works should be free
for everyone to use and reuse. Yet, as many cultural heritage
institutions are entering into contractual agreements with third parties
for the digitization of Public Domain works, there are serious concerns
regarding the conditions of access, use and reuse of the resulting
Ideally, digital copies of Public Domain materials would be made
immediately and freely available to the public. However, in practice,
many of these public-private partnerships impose contractual
restrictions that limit access and re-use of Public Domain materials.
These restrictions have the same effect as introducing a new proprietary
right over the digitized copies of Public Domain material, thereby
substantially limiting the use and reuse of content that belongs to the
common cultural heritage by subjecting it to a requirement of prior
This risk is further increased with the introduction of the PSI 2013
regime, which allows the conclusion of exclusive agreements between
private entities and PSBs under restrictive terms and with a potential
A work in the Public Domain should have the same legal properties,
regardless of the format or medium it is in. Hence, /*works that are in
the Public Domain in analog form [should] continue to be in the Public
Domain once they have been digitised*/ (see the Europeana Public Domain
Principle #2, and Communia Public Domain Manifesto
<http://www.publicdomainmanifesto.org/manifesto>, Recommendation #5).
Contractual agreements as regards the digitization of Public Domain
works should acknowledge and respect the fundamental properties of these
works, and not attempt to subvert Public Domain principles through
contract and other legal mechanisms.
To ensure the broadest availability and long-term accessibility of
Public Domain works, their digital copies should be made available to
the public in a format and medium allowing for easy identification,
retrieval and modification, while ensuring the maximum interoperability
of these works. The use of metadata and open formats constitutes an
important requirement to ensure that the value of the Public Domain is
properly understood and that the works belonging to the Public Domain
will always remain freely (re)usable.
In view of this, we make the following recommendations:
*No copyright protection*
*over the digitized version:*
All parties to the partnership should expressly state that they do not
claim copyright nor sui generis rights in the digitized copies of the
Public Domain material.
* The digitized version should be marked as in the Public Domain using
a tool such as the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark
alternatively, if digitization itself gave rise to new related
rights, these should be waived by applying a Public Domain
dedication tool such as CC0
* Up-to-date metadata and the database (if protected by sui generis
rights) should be made available and dedicated to the Public Domain
using tools such as the CC0 Public Domain Dedication
<http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/> following the
model of Europeana, the Digital Public Library of America, Harvard
Library and the British Library.
* *for newly published works:*
In countries where copyright law grants an additional term of protection
to the publishers of Public Domain works that have never been published
before, the rights holder should dedicate the work to the Public Domain
by means of tools such as the CC0 Public Domain Dedication.
*No contractual restrictions*
Access and reuse to Public Domain works should be unrestricted, both
on premises and on the Internet for any type of use and reuse,
including for commercial purposes.
No exclusive agreements should be made between the cultural
institution and the commercial vendor that would preclude another
vendor or institution from digitizing or distributing the same
Public Domain material.
*Openness & Transparency*
The institution should use standardized, open technological formats
and request the contractor to transfer digitized material and
metadata in standardized open technological formats.
Bidders’ offers should be made publicly available. Transparency
should prevail in the decision-making process affecting public
access to our common cultural heritage collections.
The Communia International Association calls for cultural institutions,
such as libraries, archives and museums to observe the following
guidelines, and to promote them in their negotiations with contractors,
donors and legal owners of materials.
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